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HPC will shift to the cloud - Infinity

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Infinity SDC predicts more companies will have on-demand high-performance needs

High performance computing (HPC) will become a mainstream feature of data centers, as demands for big data and analytics increase, according to UK data center firm Infinity SDC. 

While HPC has traditionally been run on in-house systems for University science departments and others running applications like oil-prospecting and weather forecasting, the need for analytics is growing, and customers are going to colocation sites and the cloud to source their HPC needs, according to a briefing session run by Infinity and data center real estate specialist CBRE. 

infinity slough 3 lead

Infinity Slough 

Source: Infinity

Growing needs

By 2018, 60 percent of businesses will require HPC solutions, according to a forecast by Intel. While many will have access to in-house systems, Intel predicts that 40 percent of the HPC will be delivered on demand in the cloud.

Among those addressing the briefing, Jon Summers, a senior lecturer at the University of Leeds, has moved some IT work into Infinity’s Slough data center, under the umbrella of a deal with the UK’s academic network,Janet. 

As the mix within data centers changes, it will increase the demands on the power and cooling available in shared facilities, the meeting heard, as HPC loads run on denser hardware which generates more heat.

Liquid cooling will become more common, even moving to on-chip cooling, and many customers will require their own dedicated hardware, administered through a cloud interface. 

Power demands could be tricky in the UK, given that data centers are edging towards using five percent of the country’s electricity output, and the UK is facing the possibility of a power shortfall.

However, a more pressing problem is the distribution of power, given that most is generated in the North of the country, while data centers are generally in the South East. A shift of balance could be on the cards, warned Russ Taylor, innovations director at Anvil Industries, a startup planning to offer bare-metal HPC as a cloud service. 

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